BC Mural Project Winner Spotlight: Seraphim Hong

Seraphim Hong // Bellevue College.

The winners of BC’s Outdoor Mural Project have finally been announced! Nine murals have been chosen to be wheat-pasted in various locations throughout the campus. Let’s meet our first featured artist! You can view more of Hong’s work on her website.

Seraphim Hong — “Embracing Mixedness”

Bio: Seraphim Hong is a Seattle-based visual artist originally from La Mesa, California. She graduated with an associate degree with a concentration in art at Bellevue College in 2018 through the CEO Youth Re-Engagement program. She went on to major in painting and drawing at the University of Washington, graduating in the honors program in the School of Art in 2020. She has since continued to create traditionally, focusing on watercolors and oils as well as exploring digital painting. As a multiracial individual with an ancestry of refuge and incarceration on stolen Indigenous lands, she mainly creates visuals reflecting on complex identity in the world that leads to intangible emotions and a multifaceted view of self. Her works mainly focus on these emotions and create allegories through colorful, expressive abstract works of figures, flora and fauna in the natural world.

Hong’s Artist Statement: As a multiracial individual, I have long grappled with the feeling of not belonging to any one racial identity and a loneliness that stems from this uncertainty.

In response to this struggle, this work is a celebration of the friendships between multiracial women of color and the joy I’ve learned that comes with creating [a] community that celebrates diversity and love. The embracing figures represent my two close friends, Caroline Natsuhara and Jessica Vergel, and me. We are all multiracial women of color who met at Bellevue College and created a lasting friendship that encourages us to embrace our heritages in everything we strive to do. Before, I had never experienced friendship with other women who celebrated their multiple cultures like that of my own. Our individual stories began folding together through our friendship and experiences surrounding Bellevue, Washington; our meeting place.

Inspired by part of my own Japanese American ancestry, I drew patterns to replicate chiyogami: designed paper used for Japanese papercraft such as origami. The forms are based off [of] the flora and fauna of our diverse CHamoru, Filipinx, Japanese American, and Korean backgrounds mixed in with imagery of Bellevue, Washington and the greater Pacific Northwest, representing the unique experiences that make up our story together. Collaging this imagery together in a drawing of a joyful embrace serves as a reminder that multiracial individuals are not alone. The weaving of our beautiful diverse stories nurtures loving friendships and connection to our multiracial BIPOC community.